Monthly Archives: March 2014

VMware VSAN: VSPP Pricing Revealed

Just after the release of VSAN a couple weeks back, I wrote this post talking about the need for VSAN to appear on the VSPP pricelist. At the time there only a little info on dates and more importantly pricing. A few days later it was confirmed that VSPP pricing would appear in Q2 of this year. Fast forward a couple weeks and I received word through @g_mulholland and @Euge_IT from VMware Australia that VSAN pricing had dropped on the VSPP Pricelist.

For those not familiar with VSPP pricing…based on Reserved vRAM, there are a number of different points levels which makes the overall value of a point decrease as reportable volume grows. That is to say that as you step up points level, you pay less per point for vRAM and other products listed on the VSPP pricelist.

As I predicted, for VSAN pricing is based on points per GB per month, and as you can see below (taken from the latest VSPP Product Usage Guide – not yet released online)

So in a nutshell you pay for as much VMDK storage you allocate to VMs living on a VSAN datastore…not the total size of your VSAN datastore, which is great news. From a Service Providers perspective it would have been nice to have this as provisioned/consumed storage so that we could take advantage of Thin Provisioning and Overcommiting Policies that gives SP economy’s of scale.

I read with interest that in describing VSAN, VMware is still suggesting that its ideally suited for several use cases in VDI, test/development, and disaster recovery…is there confidence to run critical workloads such are line of business application or VMware management stacks?

Finishing off this post, Depending what region you are in and who you get your VSPP through, point value can differ, but the pricing when compared to outright per socket pricing seems extremely competitive…especially when VSPP participants are on the higher Points Levels which reduces the overall cost per point. In my initial calculations over a 36 month period we would reduce the VSAN license cost per month by almost 50%. Exactly how much $$ wise you ask…I will write up another post over the next couple of days with actual pricing examples and comparisons to buying VSAN through non VSPP channels.

Quick Thought: VSAN Pricing…We need a VSPP Option

UPDATE: Looks like we will be seeing some VSPP Pricing for VSAN in Q2

vCenter and ESXi 5.5 Update 1 has reached GA, and we now have v1.0 of VSAN officially ready for production use. Technically it’s a winner, and from an industry maturity standpoint…it clearly sets a new direction in how storage is consumed on the back of other SDS vendors.

  • VMware Virtual SAN  Virtual SAN 5.5 is a new hypervisor-converged storage tier that extends the vSphere Hypervisor to pool server-side magnetic disks (HDDs) and solid-state drives (SSDs). By clustering server-side HDDs and SSDs, Virtual SAN creates a distributed shared datastore designed and optimized for virtual environments. Virtual SAN is a standalone product that is sold separate from vSphere and requires its own license key.

In what many people in the community thought was a strange move, pricing for VSAN was held back even after the binaries went live. VMware have just released official pricing of VSAN, and even through those with NDA links knew of the approx. pricing structure I think the US$2495/CPU Socket pricing has still taken most by surprise.

Basically in addition to the pure licensing costs you need to consider how to design and build the other key components that makes a VSAN Cluster…namely compute and storage. This is where I think VSAN will prove a winner…ultimately, not withstanding the per socket price the rest of the cost is up to those that will ultimately consume it. However having a think about a typical Dual Socket Server these days, plus the minimum of 3 hosts in a VSAN Cluster, you are looking at $US14,970 before adding the compute, storage and other overhead costs…again, deciding if that is expensive of not is relative to how the rest is stacked out.

VSPP Option:

If VMware are still serious about supporting their VSPP pricing and vCloud Powered Partners they must look at releasing a pricing option that’s on the VSPP price list. This should be based similar to how those on the VSPP consume and pay for vRAM. (yes, in the SP world vRAM is not a bad four letter word) Ultimately Server Providers can consume VSAN per GB or TB used. Total monthly costs are worked out based on your points level and then multiplied by however many points VMware wants to make that per GB/TB unit worth.

I see massive potential to provide my clients with a VSAN backed tier of storage that can be exposed via Storage Profiles into client Virtual Data Centers. It’s a no brainier for mine and I am sure most of you in the VSPP world would agree the uptake of VSAN would be greatly enhanced by a move like this.

I won’t say more on VSAN, as there is plenty of Social Comment happening and million and one blog posts…however for a great post, check out @ChrisWahl‘s Post below…it covers all aspects of VSAN. Also check out the other links below…


PowerCli IOPS Metrics: vCloud Org and VPS Reporting

We have recently been working through a product where knowing and reporting on VM Max Read/Write IOPS was critical. We needed a way to be able to provide reporting on our clients VPSs and vCloud Organisation VMs.

vCOPs is a seriously great monitoring and analytics tool, but it has got a flaw in it’s reporting in that you can’t search, export or manipulate metrics relating to VM IOPS in a useful way. VeeamOne gives you a Top 10 list of IOPS, CloudPhysics has a great card showing DataStore/VM performance…but again, not exportable or granular enough for what we needed.

If you search on Google for IOPS Reporting you will find a number of guys who have created excellent PowerCLI Scripts. Problem I found was that most worked in some cases, but not for what we required. One particular post I came across this Post on the VMware Community Forums gave a quick and dirty script to gather IOPS stats for all VMs. This lead me to the Alpacapowered Blog. So initial credit for the following goes to MKguy…I merely hacked around it to provide us with additional functionality.

Before You Start:

Depending on your Logging Level in vCenter (I have run this against vCenter 5.1 with PowerCLI 5.5) you may not be collecting the stats required to get Read/Write IOPS. To check this run the following in PowerCLI connected to your vCenter

If you don’t get the output it means your logging level is set to a lower level than is required. Read through this Post to have vCenter logging the required metrics on a granular level. Once thats been done, give vCenter about 30 minutes to collect its 5 minute samples. If you ever want to check individually how many samples you have for a particular VM you can run the following command. It will also show you the Min/Max Count plus the average.

The Script:

I’ve created two versions of the script (one for Single VMs and on for vCloud Org VMs) and as you can see below, I added in a couple niceties to make this more user friendly and easy to trigger for our internal support staff. Idea is that anyone with the right access to vCenter can double-click on the .ps1 script, and with the right details produce a report for either a single VM or a vCloud Organisation.

Script Notes:

Line 1: Adds the PowerCLI Snap-In to be able to call ESXi Commandlets from PowerShell on click of the .ps1

Line 3: Without notes from MKguy, i’m assuming this is telling us to use the last 30 days of stats if they exist.

Line 7: I discovered the -menu flag for Connect-VIServer which lists a 10 list of your most recently connects vCenter or ESXi servers…from there you enter a number to connect (ease of use for helpdesk)

Line 16: Does uses the Get-Folder command to allow us to get all the VMs in a vCloud Org…you can obviously enter in your own preferred search flags here.

Lines 17-22 are the ones I picked up form the Community post which basically takes the command we used above to check for samples metrics and feeds it into a read/write variable which is then displayed in a series of columns as shown below.

Script Output:

Executing the .ps1 will open a PowerShell window, Ask you to enter in the vCenter/Host and finally the VM name or vCloud Org Description. If you have a folder with a number of VMs, the script can take a little time going through the math and spit out the values.

From there you can do a select and copy to export the values out for manipulation…I haven’t done a csv export option due to time constraints, however if anyone want to add that to the end of the script, please do and let me know 🙂

Hope this script is useful for some!